tv The 11th Hour With Brian Williams MSNBC March 2, 2017 11:00pm-11:31pm PST
cannot do this. it's too much politics. we needs somebody independent to get to the bottom of this. >> thank you, very much. >> i appreciate it. >> i want to shake the hand that would not shake the hand of president trump. the 11 hour with brian williams start now. recusal because of own recusal because of own diplomat, attorney general takes himself out of the investigation into russian ties into trump campaign. the presidential calling it a witch hunt while taking the opportunity to say the democrats lot the election. washington storm. the 11th hour begins now. good evening. from our headquarters hard to believe day 41 of the trump administration it is about competing narratives and
competing visuals. the president visited the u.s. navy advanced and expensive aircraft carrier gerald r. ford, two more carriers like it two more cabinet members were sworn in. perri and carson. about it is russia and president's attorney general head the day. jeff sessions announced he was recusing himself to take himself out of any investigation into russian interference in the 2016 election. that after reports he did not disclose contact with the russian ambassador kislyak.
he did not remember discussing the campaign in any significant way with russian's ambassador before his office called it to relay a message to him. >> i don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way in no way coordinating effort of doing anything improper, i don't believe anything in that meeting would have seen or believe i said one thing improper or unwise. >> ard cooing to news reports you met twice with ambassador kislyak. is that extent of your contacts, those three events. >> i don't recall if i had a conversation with him or not. >> we received a call from your office, there was not a phone call between you and the russian ambassador. that's been included in press account. was there? >> i don't recall any such phone
call. >> so clearly, the attorney general and his staff still fleshing this out. nbc news confirmed it was reported by "new york times" that michael flynn and son-in-law jared kushner meth met with kislyak back in december. "to members of the trump campaign national security officials spoke with kislyak at convention jd gordon and carter page,' agreed to be interviewed by chris page. >> did you meet kislyak, did you talk to him. >> i'm not going to deny that i talked to him. >> you will say. >> i never met him outside of cleveland. >> the only time was in
cleveland. >> i may have met him, might have been in cleveland. >> but you're not going to deny up talked with him in cleveland. >> i will not say that. >> -- if which you were talked about the hacking going on or what the campaign would do. >> it would be interesting -- >> at category. >> categorically no. >> -- >> carter page being interviewed tonight. the press weighed in with off camera statement while acknowledging the attorney general should have been clearer during the senate confirmation hearing, the president went on to say the democrats are over playing their hand. the real story is the illegal leaks of classified and other
information. it's a total witch hunt. when it comes to russia, there's no there there. >> i have nothing to do with russia. to the best of my knowledge, no person that i teal with does. >> did anybody in the trump campaign have any cabbing with the russian meddle in the election. >> of course not. >> can you say mr. president or initial in the campaign had no conversations with anybody during the campaign? >> no. i'm telling you -- it's all phony beloany garbage. >> on that note, let's bring in the panel. u.s. political reporter, nbc reporter, and politico, good evening. to you all. let's see. david, there's no polite way to say this, you and i are the oldest here.
>> thanks, brian. >> can you ever recall a news tempo of news like this, the first week of an administration like this what do you say when people ask you where this takes us? >> i say we're all exhausted. i can recall news tempo at the beginning of the 9/11 iraq war, so forth, but those were events that were brought on to the united states what's different here is that these are by and large self-inflicted wounds because you have a white house that's had a difficult time getting its story here. which has already seen the removal of the national security
adviser 24 days into his time and now the recusal of the attorney general from the issue in which you could imagine that may have said from day one, look, he was foreign policy visor to candidate trump. he should not be involved in any way in the decisions about the investigation into russian meddling into election, that ranges from hacking to connections here. the other oddity is every time they say we had no discussions and so forth a lot show up. the discussions themselves, are not illegal. i can imagine why jeff sessions could have perfectly legitimate reasons for meeting with the russian ambassador. and mean as well as. the question is what was the content of those discussions.
>> michael crowley, this is where this veers into your beet, we can even express surprise at 24 days into the presidency, the national security adviser losing his job, 41, the aj has to row cous himself. we cannot be surprised at this per se because this was the first candidate to take a charitable chance against leader vladimir putin. >> that's the content of all of this. we have been in phase of relations with russia is bad as its been since the cold war. here is donald trump saying we can get along with russia. i want to do deals with russia. he wants to turn foreign policy on its head and think about russia differently.
there have been people who have been saying for a long time we are heading toward a dangerous level of confrontation, we have is to deescalate it. it was a similar idea in 2009. but trump talking about something differently. in particular what is striking the way he talks about vladimir putin never have i heard him say anything bad about putin. so the context here is that trumps comes at russia from an unusual angel and you start to ask yourself is there something behind it beyond some innovative way of thinking about geo politics.
>> being attorney general it's like being commerce secretary. you're job is different. the other prong is there are 100 senators he was it's first to back donald trump he has basketball with him all the way. there's a few closer in his circle. the question to you is, you wake up every day in this period, shuttering to look at your devise first thing in the morning, what would be going through their mind right now? >> this is a top law enforcement who would be over seaing this entire investigation. to have charges and question about whether or not he perjured himself is flab gasting. i think republicans and
democrats are looking at this in terms of the totality of what we're seeing here. it's not just context, it's dishonesty of the context. usa went back and looked at denials were numbered 20 different types that the administration denied having contact. we're seeing there were contacting that really crucial moments. for example, during the convention when the platform was watered down to make it russia/gop contact. there rp contacts in senator sessions office when it was dominating the headlines that russia had hacked hillary
clinton. has a reporter, i go back and think about how this went down. i was a reporter that covered hillary clinton campaign. the last time we heard from donald trump was about a month paul manafort became his campaign manager. we did not hear from him again. we heard were rudy giuliani guessing something was going to happen. when you look at totality of what we have just witnessed it does raise questions, serious questions about whether this was just is russian who were intrigue with donald trump or whether there was extra step there that would be step of collusion. >> another call back for you, i was thinking today about paul cur rin, he was a dependable lawyer from -- to look into
jimmy carter's peanut business back in the time. the investigation started and it concluded with without a finding of wrongdoing. case closed. my question to you is that kind of thing still possible today when we don't know the extent to which the fbi is looking into this so far or what they know or don't know. >> i think it's going to be a long time before this investigation is closed or we it imagine it being closed for a few reasons. first of all, there are multiple investigations. there's the fbi investigation, which imbraces both the hack into the election system, into dnc, a remarkable story in part because the fbi blew this investigation the first time.
they went to the dnc in september of 2015, but didn't follow up very effectively and the president obama didn't understand what was going on at the dnc until june of the next year, 2016. number two, there's the investigations into connections and conversations and whether was any kind of involvement between these discussions and the changes in the republican platform that heidi mentioned. even before that time, i had did interview with president trump both of which he questioned whether we should be continuing the sanctions. then there's the third issue, which is probably the most unpredictable which is what happened to the congressional investigation. we have several committees looking into it. you have calls for collect committee and bipartisan and you know what happened, once these
starts, the leaks out of these elevation will build on each other as well. >> everybody stand by. we're going to take a break. before we do, a note about people getting ago tated and nervous and pressure building in washington. i want to show you the republican chair of the intelligence committee, congressman nunes and a little exchange that reminded people did dick cheney that people need to watch what they say. >> i'm sure some of you are in contact with the russian embassy, if we get transcripts do you want us to conduct an investigation on you or other americans because you were talking to the russian embassy, i think we need to be careful. >> the moment that got attention of several team in washington today.
with that we'll take a first break. what we come back what we need to know about moscow's man in washington. lots of wrinkle creams believe the more mysterious they sound, the more... powerful you'll think they are. it's time to see what power really looks like. new neutrogena® rapid wrinkle repair with accelerated retinol sa. clinically proven to reduce wrinkles in just one week. wrinkles? your time is up! rapid wrinkle repair. and for dark spots. rapid tone repair. neutrogena® see what's possible.
indicates there were five people from the trump campaign raging in role met with or talked with the ambassador during the campaign or during the transition in addition to flynn they include gordon, jared kushner, attorney general jeff sessions. who is this ambassador to the u.s. from russia. our panel is back with us. michael crowley is the perfect person to ask. michael, i botched his name in the first segment what does the audience need to know about this man? >> this is vladimir putin man behind enemy line, so to speak. he has been russian ambassador to washington since 2008. for some of that time, relations were okay. now, obviously, he is on hostile territory.
he came of age in soviet russia. he 66 years old. did a tour in washington in the 1980s. he is a guy fluent in english speaker. he is tough. he is intelligent but le is not here to freelancech he is promoting the kremlin aggressively. he is a harsh critic of american politics. it's important for people to understand, i spent time reading his remarks, recuring theme from ambassador is russia and america can get along, we can do business with moscow and have a business relationship. >> heidi, what is the chance the
fbi will be as helpful as he was during the campaign and telling americans about the status of ongoing investigation in this case. >> there are some who may think he is the perfect person because of what happened during the campaign with hillary clinton now he want to right that ship and make sure this is run straight skpr narrow. at the same time when you don't have this independent commission or special prosecutor, politics come into play. you have top person saying come me was withholding information. there's a lot of bad blood with the democrats who believe how could comey have sat on that investigation and put out that dispatch about hillary clinton so clois close to the collectings with this being nothing burger.
he ma be the perfect person because he wants to write the ship from what happened during the campaign. >> what's the complains the white house decides to get out in front of this instead of having this pulled through the cheese cloth of journalism? >> it takes a white house many years of getting burns from recognizing that you cannot get beyond the drip, drip, drip, unless you decide you're going to come out and come clean early on. i want to go back to something that michael pointed out about ambassador kislyak, when we arrived in 2008, it was ends of the bush administration. it was last month when we had good relations with russia. but mr. kislyak still talked about a russia that was integrating when working with europe.
and he has become under the putin year, in the course of this, the most fierce advocate of a russia that will stand up to the united states at every turn. it is important that they saw eventually in candidate trump, somebody with whom they thought they could change the nature of this relationship. i'm not sure he was the instrument for that. he may have been just scoping mr. trump and his team out for people back in moscow. >> thank you to the panel, david, heidi, michael. thank you all, for joining us tonight. coming up why andre mitchel is having a difficult time getting a straight answer at the state department or any answer at all when the 11th hour continues.
>> out please. that was uncomfortable. last thing that was andrea mitchell who was on the air with us until midnight last night trying to get the secretary of state to answer a question. he has not spoken to the news media since becoming secretary of state. there's a daily washington staple for decades since the start of the administration. this is critical time as some big budget cuts are rumored to be coming. 120 former generals, a three or four star rank, said it would make us less safe as a nation.
the state department plans to hold first briefing on monday. that does it for in edition "the 11th hour. "hardball" begins rights now. rolling disclosure. let's play "hardball". good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. last 24 hours revealed trump administration officials and the russia ambassador to the united states. last night they broke the story that the jeff sessions met with the russian during 2016 campaign. that story pushed the attorney general to recuse himself.